An integration of structural and strategic therapy with low-income families

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Cook, Gwendolyn Eliza
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This Practicum undertaken at New Directions for Children, Youth and Families was based on a plan for the integration of Structural and Strategic Family Therapy components. The integration occurred in utilizing the two approaches concurrently. The first phase involved dealing with the family through a structural approach--joining, accommodation, testing boundaries and restructuring (Stanton, 1981). The second phase based on a guideline from Stanton (1981) is "to switch to a predominantly strategic approach when structural techniques either are not succeeding or are unlikely to succeed" (p. 431). The utilization of Strategic at this juncture is planned to move the family from a position of being "stuck." A hallmark of the Strategic approach is to bypass resistance. Strategic concepts were used as a guide for helping the client move toward the therapeutic goals. Components of Structural and Strategic Family Therapy have been applied concurrently to this practice with families at New Directions to produce a working model, which demonstrates the adaptability in the integration of Structural and Strategic Family Therapy. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)